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Abusive relationships

Abusive relationships

Experiencing abusive relationships (family, partnership, or friendship) can be challenging and hard to talk about if you are living in isolation, don’t have a support network, or are living in fear of violence. Supports are available to help you with past trauma, leaving a current situation, or moving on from living with violence.

If you are in immediate danger or fear for your safety call 9-1-1.

How do I know if it's abuse?

People can be in abusive relationships with a family member or dating partner. Below are some warning signs of abuse. You may be in an abusive relationship if someone:

  • Makes you feel humiliated, intimidated, or isolated through their words and actions.
  • Stalks or follows you.
  • Uses money to hold power over you.
  • Uses texting or social media to bully, harass, or intimidate you.
  • Pressures you with words or actions to engage in sexual activity you don’t want to do.

An abusive partner might:

  • Puts you down or calls you names you don’t like.
  • Tries to keep you away from your friends or family.
  • Does not respect your “NO.”
  • Threatens to harm you, him or herself, or others.
  • Is physically or sexually forceful with you in any way.
  • Tells you that you’re lucky anyone loves you.
  • Hurts you and plays it off like a joke or like you made him or her do it.

An abused partner might:

  • Make excuses for the abuser’s behaviour.
  • Feel nervous talking when the abuser is nearby.
  • Be sick more often and miss work or school.
  • Try to cover his or her bruises.
  • Feel sad, lonely, withdrawn, and afraid.
  • Use drugs or alcohol to cope.
  • Be told by family and friends that he or she is “not the same” or “acting differently.”

Watch and learn about abusive relationships.

I think I'm in an abusive relationship. What should I do?

There are many places to get help:

You an also create a safety plan:

  • Call 9-1-1 if you are in danger.
  • Build support for your journey forward.

I'm no longer in an abusive relationship. Can I still get support?

Yes. There are several support services for people who’ve experienced abuse:

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